Caught by Surprise
I don’t like surprises. I don’t like surprise parties, surprise visits, pop-out horror movies. And this little hang-up doesn’t exactly fit in with the ‘flexible and dynamic’ workplace of today. Someone actually suggested I take classroom training on managing expectations.
There will probably be group work.
I'm not talking about being change-averse, I talking about plugging along when something out of the ordinary sneaks up on me and takes me completely by surprise.
One of the personality traits of an ISTJ is an appreciation for order. I love to outline how I’m going accomplish a goal, anticipate the obstacles, then plan their avoidance or fix. That way, if someone has a question, I can hand them the plan. If something goes awry, I can look at the plan.
God, however, has put a few surprises in my path in the last six weeks. Big, hefty ones that gave me heartburn and migraines. I have not counted them all as joy, at least not at first. But I am learning the first place I go is to Him. Whether to His word, in songs, devotionals and prayer, or the chapel, I’ve learned the best instruction I will receive is from Him.
I'm reminded of the story of Samson's conception and birth.
His mother was barren for years but was visited by an Angel of the Lord and told she would conceive and would dedicate her son as a Nazarite. She tells her husband, Manoah of the visit and they become anxious. He prays that the Angel of the Lord visit again so he knows how to raise and teach his son.
Imagine this couple living childless, likely for years, when out of nowhere, they're told they'll have a child.
I can imagine their anxiety. But we've not prepared. We've not saved. We're set in our ways. We wanted to travel. We've never even babysat!
But Manoah was not driven by fear, he was driven by faith. "Then Manoah prayed to the Lord and said, 'O my Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come to see us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.'" (Judges 13:8)
His reaction was to immediately call on God for wisdom and instruction.
How often do I recognize the unfamiliar and give it over? Or am I more inclined to insist I can get it right myself and only go to Him when I've run out of my own options?
Manoah understood that the Angel of the Lord provided his wife with specific instructions and was faithful God would deliver them for raising his child as well.
I pray that I can put aside my own self-righteousness and rely fully in faith on God's provision and guidance in my work.
And I pray it be the same for all of your decisions in your work.
What has taken you by surprise? How did you respond? Comment below so we can strengthen and encourage each other.
I would be honored to pray for your work.